Greetings Arch Hunters...today is Arch Wednesday!
Worldwide arch count: 5861 (Change: +25)
Each week we update the World Arch Database (WAD) with newly reported arches as well as more acccurate data and/or photos for existing arch entries. Each
Wednesday (day may vary), we send you a list of these updated arch
entries with a summary of what has changed. Typically our weekly updates
will focus on a certain area, state or country (although we may jump
around the world at times!).
This week we are starting a new project: Cross-reference of the WAD with the United States Geological Survey's Geographic Names Information System (GNIS).
The GNIS once contained many arch entries that either were not arches
or did not have the right name entered, and other errors. Apparently,
some folks at the USGS have been hard at work correcting this situation
(with the assistance of the Natural Arch and Bridge Society). Not
only have they corrected most of the errors, but they have added quite a
number of arches which were shown on USGS topographic maps as "Natural
Arch" that had never been entered into the GNIS. This cross-referencing
work has yielded 21 previously undocumented arches in Arizona alone!
We'll need pictures of these arches, as well as concise GPS data, rock
type and etc. GO GET 'EM ARCH HUNTERS!
New additions from GNIS system (search on a location keyword in the WAD):
Research was completed on three US
states: Alabama, Alaska and Arizona. All arch names are official GNIS
names unless otherwise noted.
Arrowhead Arch: On Arrowhead Mesa S of Kaibito, AZ.
Yuma Proving Ground, western Arizona: Three
arches on this military base: two across US Hwy 95 from the Kofa Mtns
near the Tweed Mine; and one in the Middle Mtns NW of the town of Yuma.
Castle Dome Mtns, SW Arizona on the Kofa NWR: A
cluster of three arches on the SW flank of these mtns; another one
further SW on the Red Bluff Mtn quad; new entry in Big Eye Wash, which
we at the WAD have named "Big Eye Arch" because we feel certain
that the wash was named for the arch within it.
Kofa Mtns, Kofa NWR, AZ: three
new entries here: one on S side of Kofa Queen Cyn, which NABS mentioned
in a SPAN article but never visited; one near Budweiser Spring
(which may have been previously documented by NABS), and one in the
French Creek drainage.
Little Harquahala Mtns, western AZ: Needle Arch and Little Harquahala Arch (names given by WAD - not official GNIS names)
Eagletail Mtns, western AZ: six
new entries, some of which may have been previously documented by NABS.
However, since this documentation was before GPS, the data NABS obtained
was somewhat nebulous for some arches, creating confusion about which
arches had been documented and which had not.
Gila Bend Mtns, SW Arizona: one new entry here.
Vulture Mtns, SW Arizona: one new entry here, which is on the way to Vulture Arch if you know where to look.
Goldfield Mtns, E of Apache Junction, AZ: Sunrise Arch (another one!), previously documented by Ted Tenney in his book Goldfield Mountain Hikes.
Mohawk Mtns, SW Arizona: Gunnery Arch, on the Barry M. Goldwater Air Force Range.
Changes to WAD entries from GNIS research:
Cly arch: official name is now Square House Arch
Vreeland's 12-34 in Organ Pipe NM, AZ: official name is now Ajo Window
Arch RR-3 in the Monument Valley area, AZ: official name is now Forbidden Arch
Arch RR-5 in the Monument Valley area, AZ: official name is now Sunrise Arch (photo above by Jay Wilbur)
Arch AZ-83: official name is now Texas Arch
Vreeland's 12-2: This is a group
of arches. Two of them have been given official names: Joanne's Arch and
Danny's Arch. Source of these names is Natural Arch and Bridge Society,
so we assume (and hope) that Danny's arch was named for NABS' first
president Danny Horowitz, but were unable to verify this.
Navajo Arch 1: New official name for this arch, one of three in Navajo Cyn, AZ is now Navajo Arch.
Safter Ruin Arch, aka Ruin Arch: official name is now Sitting Lizard Arch, named for the large rock butte in which the arch is located.
Vreeland's 12-26 near Swansea, AZ: official name is now Miner's Arch.
Eagle Eye S of Aguila, AZ: official name is now Eagle's Beak Arch.
Vreeland's 12-24 N of Lake Havasu, AZ in Blankenship Wash: official name is now Picture Rock Window.
Vreeland's 23-23 in remote desert of SW Arizona: official name is now Conflagration Arch.
Errors found in GNIS data
Natural Bridge in
South Mountain Park, Phoenix, AZ: this feature is not an arch, but
rather a very large boulder that has moved or drifted. Not rock in its
original place, thus not a true arch.
Chiricahua Natural Bridge: this feature is not a true arch (or bridge). It is a slab which has fallen and wedged between two cliffs.
Total updates: 39
Happy Arch Hunting!